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Brad Gobright lost his life at Potrero Chico today.

Original Post
Layne Zuelke · · Baton Rouge, LA · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 30

Hate to start the memorial page for Brad. Sad to lose a man in his prime.  I never had the chance to meet or climb with him but a number of folks here have. Hopefully they’ll be able to chime in and offer some insight into a fellow who was no doubt an intriguing and loved character in the climbing community.
RIP Brad.

F Loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 526

Damn, what a loss. 

Alan Coon · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 175
Layne Zuelke wrote: Hate to start the memorial page for Brad. Sad to lose a man in his prime.  I never had the chance to meet or climb with him but a number of folks here have. Hopefully they’ll be able to chime in and offer some insight into a fellow who was no doubt an intriguing and loved character in the climbing community.
RIP Brad.

Rip brad. Huge inspiration and an awesome back story. His climbs in eldo were top tier and feels like he skipped a generation. I never had the chance to know him outside of seeing him a few times at reel rock. Rip dude

Jon Rhoderick · · Redmond, OR · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 916

This photo is from September 19th 2013.  After a smokey summer the first fall rain cleared the skies, and I shared a special climb with an incredible partner.  I’m sure for Brad Gobright, I was just the most convenient person to climb with that day, but for me it was an opportunity of a lifetime.

One of my favorite aspects about climbing is that you get to climb with your heroes, and you touch the same rock.  I’d never get the chance to catch a ball thrown by a Hall of Fame athlete, or touch the hallowed ground where a sports history was forged, but here I was climbing on the Monkey Face with Brad.

It’s hard to say when Brad ‘made it’ as a climber, but he was at that stage where if you’d kept your ear to the ground you’d heard of him, but there was no sponsorships, he was sleeping in his Honda and scraping by like the rest of us.  

Pretty soon he’d have feature films, speed records, and Brad pushed his physical and mental endurance as far as his talent and tenacity took him.  I’ve always though the pinnacle of rock climbing was a one day free ascent of El Cap.  Brad achieved this 5 times. (The next time we talked was 5 years later in a car park in Yosemite right after he had just freed El Corazon in just 19 hours, which he said was the most challenging thing he had done in climbing. I had no idea because I told him we climbed the Rostrum and he preferred to hear what I thought the best pitch was then talk about his own monumental accomplishment).

I hiked back and I saw Brad warming up by soloing the Pioneer Route.  Brad had recently climbed the Monkey in mind bending 3 minutes, 25 seconds; only for his friendly rival Mason to beat his time. Brad was shaking his head realizing that he just didn’t want to climb that bold to break a record that only about 4 people even knew about. He bailed by walking the Monkey Face highline leashed in with a daisy chain and locker.  We chatted for a little bit and I tied in to try ‘Spank the Monkey’ which was the most mentally challenging climb I had done at that point.

I remember that I did it without a warm up that day, and that I felt quite secure. I knew it probably wasn’t impressive to Brad, but I wanted to show him that I wasn’t afraid.  I certainly didn’t want to let on that I felt like I’d caught the Super Bowl winning pass from a Hall of Famer in front of a crowd of exactly no one else.

He was genuinely psyched for me and I belayed him as he casually waltzed up the route. He tried the extension briefly then we packed up. As we hiked back up the hill we both took the same picture looking out towards the Cascades. He used the photo as his Cover Photo on Facebook, the view was easily the most memorable part of that day.  

Brad passed away today. I’m not sure I could call him a friend, or an acquaintance, but he was my hero, and I will forever be proud to say he was my climbing partner that day in September when rain cleared the sky.
Landyn Bell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 15

Just heard the news myself. This one is hard for me I really liked his personality and was really hoping to meet the guy. I'd love to hear some cool or funny stories about the legend that is Brad.

Gabriele Benvenuto · · Orange County · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 30

The first time I met Brad I had just recently spent the night on Epinephrine.  I had heard that he had set the speed record on it at one point, so I was eager to talk to him about it.  
He recounted a story to me where he once soloed up it, passing a party on the way. After summiting, he decided it was so much fun that he wanted to do it again so he hiked all the way back around and soloed up it again, passing the same party a second time, who were completely bewildered as to what they just saw.
As he was telling the story, his stoke for climbing was evident and somewhat infectious.
The climbing world lost a legend today.

Richard R · · DC · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

I only met Brad once. I was bouldering alone in the Camp 4 boulders in late fall with nobody else really around, trying Cocaine Corner. Brad wandered by and offered me a spot. He introduced himself as Brad, and I kind of figured who he was, but didn’t want to make a big deal of it. He said he’d been doing “a little speed climbing” (i.e. breaking the nose record) and talked about breaking his foot trying Midnight Lightning with no pads. He spotted me a few times, we chatted a bit, then he wandered on down the path and that was it.

I think I share what other folks have said — he wasn’t my friend, he was barely an acquaintance, but he was absolutely my hero. No matter how strong he got, he always seemed to identify more as “a guy who loves climbing and does it as much as he can” than as a cutting-edge pro climber. In person and from everything I've heard, he was so humble and so genuinely excited about whatever V5 or 5.11 the people around him were working on, regardless of what crazy route was next on his list.

That evening in Camp 4 was a kind of surreal moment of remembering that in climbing, your heroes walk the same trails, touch the same rocks, and feel the same excitement that you feel. I always hoped to meet him again in the Valley, and I’ve rarely felt such a sense of loss for someone I’d barely met. Rest in peace Brad; you will never be forgotten.

Don Ferris III · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

I only met Brad once. He was hang boarding with a back brace at Movement in Boulder. At the time I had no idea I was witnessing one of the greatest climbers in the game. Since then I’ve reached out to him a few times for route recommendations/beta and he was always a pleasure to chat with.  Simply a great guy and a legend.  

Alex Lyapustin · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

For Brad

Yesterday we lost a towering humble giant.
Quiet and tremendously capable, ticking off adventures
that can hardly be imagined
and conquering challenges
that petrify the boldest,
incapacitate the skillful,
hearts overflowing with fear and anxiety,
minds doubtful, nerves racked.
Not you. You walked through the black
forest of fear again and again
each time becoming more luminescent.

Today is a day for giving thanks.
Thank you for your example.
For showing us that such strength is possible,
is achievable.
That such fearlessness is possible,
is achievable.
For showing us what is most essential
in your ‘95 Honda Civic.
All without hardly speaking a word about it.
Like the unfathomable faces you’ve climbed,
you inspired in silence,
your light impossible not to notice.

Cole D · · Sydney, NSW, AU · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 156

these stories are incredible. thank you all for sharing.

thought about his incredible MP tick list a lot climbing out a tahquitz. it was super motivating to be following in someone like his footsteps in a minor way. doing routes at my limit that he was easily knocking out for fun 11+ years ago. Then having those thoughts like; if I was 500% more stoked and dedicated than I seem to be capable of, and 100x as strong as I am now, and then devoted my entire life to this thing we all love so much, what might be possible in 5-10 years down the road.

Only ran into him once. Was tired as hell coming off a quick jaunt up commitment if I remember correctly. What I do remember most about that day was walking to the store at the valley lodge with too much gear jangling around on me in the classic gumby style. I saw him and didn't want to fan out too hard or bother him, so I just stopped and saluted him. He laughed and we both went on our way.

he seemed like such a great guy, and all I've read today and yesterday seems to confirm that.

Porch Henry · · Vancouver, WA · Joined Aug 2018 · Points: 0

I didn't know Brad, but I felt like I did. I guess that's why I feel the need to comment here.

He was such an inspirational, kind man. He really seemed authentic and uninterested in the stupider aspects of our sport.

A climber at heart.

This is a tragedy... It doesn't feel real.

RIP Brad, you will be loved and missed by many.

tbol · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 874

Very tragic indeed.  It's always sad when one of the tribe goes, but even more so when it's someone so relatable (in some ways) and humble.  I only met Brad a few times, but like all these stories it was a testament to his abilities and easy going attitude.  He lapped us on The Chief and El Cap.  We had to go back up East Ledges to basically get a haul bag full of turds and Brad and I laughed about it before he started sprinting down the East Ledges.  My thoughts are with his friends and family, my friends who knew him more personally, and the climbing community as a whole.  Go out there and get after it.  Never know what's in the cards.  

Nick Grant · · Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 65

if you haven’t heard it, it’s definitely worth checking out Brad talking to Chris on the Enormocast.  It’s great.

jt newgard · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 205

There are some heartfelt thoughts on here:
collective grief of being a climber​​​

Feeling sad this rainy Thanksgiving ... but still very much looking forward to climbing again when the sun comes out ~~~~

wonderwoman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 93

I saw the Rock & Ice announcement late Wednesday night, after finishing all my thanksgiving meal prep.  It was a little harder to sleep after reading the news.

From his movies and videos, I could tell that he was a sweet and unique character.  His presence will be missed in our community.

Sending love to Brad's friends, family, climbing partner and all the first responders. 

Jon Cheifitz · · Superior, Co · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 65

Thanks for sharing stories folks. This one is hitting me hard as well.

Like many of you I feel like I knew Brad, even though I really didn't. I followed his stories and photos online and deff felt his inspiration.  He passed me climbing on more than one occasion, in the same day, on the same route. I watched him dance across 11a terrain far from gear like I would cross 5.5. We chatted in the valley for a few minutes a couple of times and he told me about his desire to have the record on the nose. He was pretty focused on the goal, which he did the following season.  I tried harder on routes I knew he soloed. He didn't know me, and I didn't know him; but I already miss him.

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125

I met Brad before he was famous (and helped him get some gear that I'm sure he put into good use). And though I've climbed w/ him, I don't claim to know him; I do know he has a (dark) sense of humor & carried himself unlike the polished packaging of many pro athletes. 

While I wasn't surprised to hear the news (not w/ the many sketchy tales), I'm no less saddened. Deep down I wish guys like him would all live a long, fulfilling life, but such is the harsh reality.

John Vanek · · Gardnerville, NV · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0

I never met the man, but we mourn when we lose someone whose passion we share. For those “not surprised,” from the news reports it appears the accident occurred while rappelling, not soloing; food for thought, as we all rappel while very few solo at high levels.

Be thankful for today. 

Randy · · Lassitude 33 · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 1,509

We knew Brad from a fairly young age, a very motivated and obvioulsy talented climber, at our local climbing gym (Rockreation in Orange County). Brad was always wanting to learn from others and even after he developed into a top climber, was kind and generous. It is very sad to hear about this accident and his passing. While it is comforting (in a manner) to know that he was living the life he wanted and doing what he loved, a life cut short is always a tragedy.

If you have been climbing long enough, no matter how careful, you will have lapses -- or other moments -- where luck may have intervened to avoid a fatal accident.  While we each draw our own line as to how much risk with which we choose to engage, the truth is, all life is uncertain and filled with risk -- perceived or otherwise. Brad engaged in his life wholeheartedly. We should celebrate that awesome spirit.

Jimmy Downhillinthesnow · · Bozeman, MT/Portland, ME · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10

Who among us has never—not once—drifted over the double yellow line? 99% of the time, you correct right back,  but all it takes is one semi in the wrong place at the wrong time. Here is not the place for arrogance. 

I never met Brad, although we were in the same place at the same time more than once. He was about as “core” a climber as there ever was, and as our sport changes more every year, it’s sad to lose one of the most dedicated. RIP and condolences to his friends and family. 

Clint Cummins · · Palo Alto, CA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,176

Nice article by John Branch in the New York Times,
APPRECIATION:  Brad Gobright, a Throwback Climber on the Fringes of a Sport

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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